Our recent move up to PC (like how I said ‘our’, I really mean TGC ;) ) I have had a hard time trying to capture review info for the entire feis. I guess I was grade specific before this though, so the tides have turned. Anyway, some WTF followers have graciously submitted their thoughts regarding the feis which can be found below. Since their comments are listed with names on Facebook I have added first names here, but I did receive some comments from people who would prefer not to have their names listed.
If you have more comments, please add them in the comment section below.
“The incredible delay on Stage C for the grades was totally unacceptable but other than that it was a great Feis overall.
5 dances, same judge for 4 of them. Dancing stopped for 45 minutes because a judge had a conflict w one of the dancers waiting to take the stage so the poor girls sat in the chairs for an hour (it was the split 410TJ A/B group). First group danced and then they rotated and the new judge couldn’t score the 2nd group. 45 minutes later they moved two first Feis reel groups to the stage and then had the 510 TJ girls dance. Rotated the judges again and the one who judged the 410 TJA group came back and remained through HP and TS. We could have been done before noon and ended up still waiting for results at 2:00.
*TCG also said that the music was very hard to hear, especially when awards were being given out behind stage B and C. ”
*Editors Note: That TGC is Christie’s girl child, not mine. I think I need to trademark ‘TGC’ ;)
- Stage A – after lunch late start because of stage C with figures & TR but missing a judge was the problem
- My dancer – 5 dances with 4 judges
- I think ALL the vendors including Ballinvilla & the dresses would have fit in the bigger room
- Didn’t know until after that sandwiches were available in a room by the used dress room
- Results were up quickly
- It was a good day for my dancers & I won a basket
I had 2 dancers competing in the North Coast Feis, my 9yr old daughter and me 7yr old son, who was a 1st time feiser. Upon our arrival, it took forever to be checked in because we had to wait in a very long line for our “M” last name. I know that’s to be expected at a large feis. However, since we had a 1st time feiser also dancing, we had to then go to the end of another line and wait all over again instead of them just checking both in at the same time. The line’s were labeled, but you couldn’t see where to stand unless you were 1st in line… not 15-20 deep! We then assumed it was the farthest line to the left, which it was, but no one knew because you couldn’t see. So there was just one mass group of people all mixed together for 1st time feisers and A-?. It was just one big cluster @#$!. Everyone was complaining and confused, and in the wrong lines. By the time we made it through both lines, with everyone jumping in and out of lines because the were in the wrong lines, we had spent over a 1/2 just checking in.
Although we had arrived “early,” when we finally made it down to the camping area, we had no time to get ready due to the delay. It was so packed we had no place to set our things. I had 4 kids under the of age 9 in tow, and 4 adults, and there was no place to stand or sit to get ready except the main isles. Dance families had taken over huge areas in the camping sections and the stage seating areas, leaving no room for other dance families. We literally dressed and undressed the kids in the main isle for lack of space and time.
Furthermore, the judge that was supposed to be present for stage F was a no show due to severe weather up in Chicago. I can fully understand the situation, but it was so horribly dealt with. The 1st time feisers happened to assigned to stage F. We were supposed to check at stage F regardless even though they would be moved. Usually the 1st feisers are 1st up to compete, but in this case they had them on later.. much later. The didn’t even perform the reel until after 12pm. Since we had another dancer competing in 5 events on a different stage, it was hard to run back and forth to Stage F every 5 minutes to see when and where they were going to reassign the stage F dancers. When our son was finally up to dance, he sat another 1/2 hour until another stage came available. So while we would be watching one child perform on Stage E, our younger 1st time feiser would be escorted from Stage F in our absence. We immediately ran over both times to find out where they’d been reassigned the 1st feisers, but they had no idea, and just blew us off. So we had a hell of time finding the dancers and nearly missed our son perform for the 1st time ever due to their lack of knowledge and communication.
To make matters worse, there were only 3 – 1st time Feisers there that day, and when they finally did make it to a stage to dance, no one would step aside to allow the families of those 3 dancers to stand or sit to watch. I literally had to crawl on the floor between peoples legs to see my son dance for the first time.
As I mentioned before, the 1st time feisers didn’t even finish dancing until after 12pm. Couldn’t they have just had them dance there to short dances first thing in the morning, and gotten them out of the way of all the more experienced dancers? We didn’t get results until almost 1pm, and of course there was no rhyme or reason to how and which lane to stand in at the results table. Again, everyone was confused and complaining around us.
** As a side note, my daughter was a 1st time Feiser at the North Coast Feis a few years ago, and we had a poor experience that time too as “Newbies”. Having now had 2 dancers attend North Coast Feis as 1st time feisers, on two different occasions, bad experiences both times.. In my humble opinion, I don’t think I would recommend this feis to other 1st time feisers.
Sorry so long.. but I felt our experience was worth mentioning. Take what you will from it in your review.
This last comment was posted on the PC/OC review and I took the liberty of copying it here.
This was our first time at NCF. As the mom of a grade level dancer, I have a few thoughts (as I usually do. lol!).
There was a slightly unfortunate issue with Stage F (which is where my dancer was mainly scheduled to dance): it was missing a judge and a musician. I heard that the judge was stuck in Chicago, but never did hear about the musician. The communication about this was pretty much word-of-mouth and not everyone got the word. Understandably, there were some seriously irritated parents and dancers as dancers were shuffled from stage to stage. The teen volunteers at stage F were amazing. They kept their cool, and smiles, even when people were flat out yelling in their faces, and did an extraordinary job of making sure every dancer was present before any dance scheduled for Stage F began (regardless of where the dance had been transferred to). I can’t commend them enough. Those in charge….I can’t commend so much. Considering that I received an email seemingly every 3 minutes about PC/OC results, it is clear they had the ability to communicate what was happening with stage F and could have saved so much frustration just by communicating the information throughout the day to ensure everyone got the word. It would have made for a much more relaxed experience for everyone, especially their volunteers.
The stages felt a little smallish for my dancer (who is U13) and those older, and even leggier, than she is. They were well cared for, though, and I didn’t see any slipping or falls. The judge rotation was great! Best we’ve encountered thus far. She got to dance for, and get feedback from, about 4 judges for 6 dances. And they all gave helpful feedback, smiled at the dancers, and despite all the frustrations they were very encouraging to the dancers. Can’t complain about that. :-). My dancer also really appreciated that there was a fantastic practice stage!
The musicians were great, mostly accordions, and there wasn’t any music blending together from stage to stage. The musician at stage E got pretty upset because people kept jumping over the barrier behind her and it was quite disruptive. Why they didn’t have the tensabarriers set up to allow a walk way between stages D & E was a mystery. Not only was it annoying that there was only 1 way to enter the grade level stages, it also seemed rather unsafe given the number of people. Had there been an emergency, it would have been a bad situation. Hopefully that will be rethought next year.
I felt the space was plenty roomy and there was a lot of camping available, don’t know why people weren’t using it. Dining tables were at a premium and people were camping at them! Tables were “claimed” with stuff and then left largely unoccupied and we had to eat on the floor. Hopefully that will be forbidden in the future.
For the most part, results were posted very promptly. For whatever reason, however, my dancer’s last dance was not posted for 40 minutes. The vendors were all packing up, stages were being torn down, and there wasn’t much to do during the wait. It was very frustrating. Worth it though, as it was the 2nd place needed for my dancer to claim the title of “Novice” in all her dances. :-).
That’s the perspective of one grade level dancer’s mom……
Did you catch the barrier busting on stage E? I was so ticked off. Silly, thoughtless folk disturbing an entire competition busting thru where it says no entrance.
…Guess I’m one protective mama bear when it comes to those kids. Hoping folks want that too.
A Grade Level Stage Musician
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